Identifying autism in Rwanda

September 21, 2023

The Institute on Community Integration this summer trained community health workers in Rwanda on identifying the signs of autism in children and on principles for addressing the needs of people with disabilities in rural communities. The work was done in July under a College of Education and Human Development Global Signature Grant.

ICI’s Macdonald Metzger partnered with Autisme Rwanda on the four-day session. Community health workers are the first line of contact for many parents with young children with autism and other disabilities, Metzger said. Staff members from Autisme Rwanda also participated in the training.

“The stigma around autism is the same in Rwanda as it is in many African countries where ICI has provided education and training in recent years,” Metzger said. “With any disability, parents are still often hiding their children in their homes because if they were more visible, they would be excluded from their communities. There is still a priority placed on children without disabilities because they are seen as future providers for the family.”

Read more about the training

A village meeting of autism acceptance advocates and community health workers in rural Rwanda in July 2023.